Warner, Kaine call on Paul Ryan to stop partisan attacks on women’s healthcare access

healthcareFollowing an announcement that House Republicans will attempt to defund Planned Parenthood in legislation that will be considered through the Senate’s “fast-track” reconciliation process to repeal the Affordable Care Act, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan calling on congressional Republicans to drop attacks on the nation’s largest women’s healthcare provider and put the health and wellbeing of women and families ahead of their party’s extreme politics.

“We are outraged at your promise to defund Planned Parenthood…but we are not surprised…since 2007 when Vice President-elect Pence first waged the battle to defund our nation’s largest provider of women’s health care, we have seen 16 attempts and reached the brink of shutdown,” wrote the Senators in the letter. “Your decision to continue down this harmful, partisan path this year will put the wellbeing and lives of women nationwide at risk—and we urge you to put those patients’ needs ahead of scoring political points.”

In the letter, the Senators point out that Planned Parenthood serves roughly 2.5 million patients in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and that many families rely on Planned Parenthood as their primary source of health care. The Senators warn Republicans against “doubling down on repeal and defunding Planned Parenthood” as the “overwhelming share of Americans—69 percent of voters including 56 percent of Republicans—support Planned Parenthood.”

“The women and men who rely on Planned Parenthood are Republicans and Democrats alike—and they did not vote for an extreme political agenda that undermines their access to quality, affordable health care at providers they trust. We urge you to stop the attack on Planned Parenthood immediately.”

Warner and Kaine were joined by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NV), Mazie K Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

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